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What Actors Have Done to Prepare for a Role

For her role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman trained with New York City Ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers for eight hours a day, six days a week for the 12 months before the film started shooting.

For his role in My Left Foot, Daniel Day-Lewis interacted with disabled patients at the Sanymount School Clinic in Dublin, Ireland. Between takes during filming, he remained in his wheelchair and was spoon-fed and carried around by the crew.

For his role in The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio plunged in and out of icy rivers, ate raw buffalo meat, and slept in a simulated horse carcass.

For his role in the film Fury, Shia LeBeouf trained with the U.S. National Guard and was a chaplain's assistant in the 41st Infantry. During the filming, he didn't bathe for 4 months.

To better imitate Ray Charles, Jamie Foxx wore prosthetic eyelids, leaving him blind for most of each day. Occasionally, he was inadvertently left alone on a set, the crew forgetting he was blind. He also learned all the piano parts and lost 30 pounds in one week for the role.

For her role as Fantine in Les Misérables, Anne Hathaway shaved her head, lost 25 pounds and subsisted on a daily diet of two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste.

To play a drug addict in Jungle Fever, Halle Berry visited a real crack den and got to know the addicts. During filming, she abstained from bathing for ten days.

In his role for The Pianist, Adrien Brody familiarized himself with despair and hunger. He moved to Europe, bringing only two suitcases of personal belongings and living a meager lifestyle. He lost 30 pounds and took piano and dialect lessons. Brody said: "There is an emptiness that comes with really starving that I hadn't experienced. I couldn't have acted that without knowing it. I've experienced loss, I've experienced sadness in my life, but I didn't know the desperation that comes with hunger."

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